Emotions and Religion

How religious beliefs and practices naturalized different emotions and deployed them to model behaviour and enrich experience of the supernatural.

Emotions and Religion

Image: Piëta, Hendrick Goltzius, 1596. Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum.

Religious ways of thinking and doing were fundamental to the social, cultural and political world of pre-modern Europe. The borders between the physical and spiritual world were porous and reality was constituted by the flow of agents and forces interacting between these worlds. Human emotions like fear, hope, sorrow, pity and joy were consequently shaped and also affirmed by these interactions between the supernatural and natural worlds.

This cluster will be wide-ranging with respect to the forms of religious thought and practice it considers through the different societal and confessional contexts of medieval and early modern Europe. Thematically, however, it will attempt to explore how religious belief and practice modeled and helped naturalize different emotional behaviors, how emotions were deployed to create the presence and power of the supernatural, and how different emotions were deemed more appropriate for the effective performance of religious practices and piety at different points in time and space.

Collaborating Members

Catherine Czerw (Art Matters)
Sarah Ferber (The University of Wollongong)
A.Katie Harris (UC Davis)

Cluster Activities

Four Emotions and Religion Cluster Panels, ANZAMEMS, Wellington, New Zealand, 7-10 February 2017

  1. Moving Hearts, Minds, and Bowels: Rhetoric and Religion in the Early Modern Period (Jennifer Clement, Eleanora Rai, Kirk Essary)
  2. Nuns on the Move: Affect, Reform and Exile in Late Medieval and Early Modern Convents (Julie Hotchin, Claire Walker, Claire Renkin)
  3. At the Intersection of Religion and Medicine in Seventeenth-Century England (Judith Bonzol, Elizabeth Connolly, Ursula Potter)
  4. Fighting Threats to Religious Authority at the Turn of the Eighteenth Century: Atheism, Witchcraft and Vampirism (Charles Zika, Julie Davies, Michael Pickering)

Religious Materiality and Emotion Symposium, University of Adelaide, 17-18 February 2017 (Keynotes: Miri Rubin (Queen Mary), Monique Scheer (Tübingen), Charles Zika (Melbourne) – organised by Julie Hotchin & Claire Walker

Public Lecture: Professor Miri Rubin (Queen Mary University of London), The Virgin Mary: A History in Matter and Emotion, University of Adelaide, 16 February 2016 – organised by Claire Walker

Early Modern Literature, Sermons and the Rhetoric of the Passions, University of Queensland, 14 August 2015 – organised by Jennifer Clement

Three Emotions and Religion Cluster Panels, ANZAMEMS, University of Queensland, 14-18 July 2015

  1. Fear, Devils, and Witches in the Religious Economy of Early Modern Europe (Abaigeal Warfield, Jenny Spinks, Charles Zika)
  2. Managing Senses, Bodies and Emotions in Early Modern English Religious and Medical Texts (Jennifer Clement, Danijela Kamboskovic, Ursula Potter)
  3. Religious Dislocation, Conflict and Grief (Lisa Beaven, Claire Walker, Yasmin Haskell)

Main Outcomes

Julie Hotchin & Claire Walker, Seeing, Touching & Feeling the Divine: Materiality and Devotion in Religious Cloisters, CHE Blog, 18 March 2016 https://historiesofemotion.com/2016/03/18/seeing-touching-and-feeling-the-divine-materiality-and-devotion-in-religious-cloisters/

For publications and papers, see the websites of individual cluster members

Forthcoming Events sponsored by the Cluster

Study Day: Emotion and Devotion, University of Melbourne, September 2017 (confirmed date and venue TBA) - organised by Julie Hotchin and Lisa Beaven

Symposium: Reform and Emotion (1300–1700), University of Melbourne, late November 2017 (confirmed date & venue TBA) – to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 theses – organised by Charles Zika

Contacts

Claire Walker (claire.i.walker@adelaide.edu.au)
Charles Zika (c.zika@unimelb.edu.au)

CHE Members

Abaigéal Warfield

The University of Adelaide

Email

Alan Maddox (2012-2016)

The University of Sydney

Email

Catherine Kovesi (2012)

The University of Melbourne

Email

Charles Zika

The University of Melbourne

Email

Charlotte Rose Millar (2016)

The University of Queensland

Email

Claire Walker (Full term)

The University of Adelaide

Email

Danijela Kambaskovic

The University of Western Australia

Email

Dolly MacKinnon (2012, 2016)

The University of Queensland

Email

Francois Soyer

The University of Southampton

Email

Gordon Raeburn

The University of Melbourne

Email

Jennifer Clement (2014-2016)

The University of Queensland

Email

Jennifer Spinks (Full term)

The University of Melbourne

Email

Julie Hotchin (2015)

Australian National University

Email

Kimberley-Joy Knight

The University of Sydney

Email

Lisa Beaven

The University of Melbourne

Email

Lisa O'Connell (Full term)

The University of Queensland

Email

Peter Denney (2014)

Griffith University

Email

Susan Broomhall (Full term)

The University of Western Australia

Email

Yasmin Haskell

The University of Bristol

Email

Ursula Potter (2012-2013)

The University of Sydney

Email